DOT: PH records all time high in tourist arrivals

The Department of Tourism has recorded an all-time high for tourist arrivals in the Philippines in 2018. According to their  year-end report, a total of 7,127,188 tourists have visited the Philippines last year, a figure that is 7.65 percent higher than 2017's 6.62 million arrivals. This is also a remarkable figure as it was above 6 percent average tourism growth in the Asia and the Pacific, citing the data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer.

This peak is despite the 6-month closure of Boracay, one of the top tourism drivers of the country. DOT Secretary Bernadette Puyat notes that this contributed to the promotion of secondary tourist destinations in the Philippines such as Siargao, Ilo-ilo, Palawan, La Union, and Romblon.

outh Koreans remain as the top tourists in numbers who visited the country with 1.58 million arrivals in 2018. The Chinese nationals followed on the list with 1.25 million tourists, a 29.62 percent jump from the number of Chinese tourists in the country in 2017. US remained at the third spot with 1.03 million. DOT records the peak of these international arrivals in between the months of December and January 2018.

DOT Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre cited a more  affordable means of travel to the country as the main driver of this peak. "People now go out of town at least four to five times a year," Alegre said. "Airline tickets are more affordable, resorts have better packages, and there are so many new destinations that are accessible and it's truly more fun in the Philippines."

Tourism and Real Estate are two highly different industries, which however correlates with one another. When a location is an emerging or an established tourist hotspot, the infrastructures and facilities available in the place will be enhanced and upgraded regularly to accommodate the need of tourists and visitors. The roads and highways leading to these the destinations will be improved, a more reliable public transportation system will be offered around hotels, restaurants, and other essential service centers. Moreover, shopping malls and entertainment hub spots are also potentially built around the area. Tourist destinations such places also hold the potential to house many luxury developments and establishments. which will eventually make it a highly desirable location for many.

Leisure and tourism facilities are known to influence property value. Previous studies have found natural resources to have a positive impact on the price of surrounding properties. The development of newer tourist destinations attracts new people to settle nearby or in the area, or invest in the opening of hotels, resorts, and other hospitality services. Moreover, the trend of short term rental has been on a steady high due to the influx of backpackers and tourists as it is affordable and convenient at the same time.